Languages & Localisation

Providing your customers with content relevant to their location in their language. Everything, from content presentation to the phrasing of in-app categories and purchase options is customisable.

Apps and Languages

Easy-to-manage ASCII character sets

The language used within the applications and on your website can be easily changed, depending on your requirements, with our proprietary Media Manager. We support ASCII character sets, which cover all Latin-origin languages which read left-to-right.

The ASCII character set limitation does not affect your content as you can still utilise subtitles to present content in languages with a right-to-left reading format, such as Arabic.

There are no limits on the number of languages operators can utilise for video assets in Media Manager.

Apps and Localisation

API-driven localisation services

Localisation features are managed by an API, so when your customers use your app, a request is generated for the language group that needs to be presented to their device. The language (or languages) returned to their device depends on their own, pre-set language settings (on the device itself, and respective app store). This can be easily managed by grouping languages together with countries within Media Manager, utilising text strings and country codes.

Application language is based on the language settings of your device. If the system has a language which matches your device language, that will be used, otherwise, you will be given the default language.  

Content language is slightly more complicated:

  • If we have single language assets, for example, English assets for the English region and Spanish assets for the Spanish region, then the language the end user is presented with will be dependent on their geographic location (the region they are in).  
  • If we have multi-language assets, for example, assets with multiple language audio files, then the user will be able to switch to any language they desire as the assets will be cleared for all regions (this is Netflix style).

App Availability – App Stores

Whether your application is available for download by a specific end-user depends on the countries your app is permitted to be downloaded from, and the app store country the user is set to. An app store country is unrelated to a geographic location, it's related to the billing address. An example of this is a user with a US app store account can travel anywhere in the world and access US-only apps, like HBO Go. However, US users will not be able to access apps like BBC iPlayer, which are UK-only. Apps like Netflix are worldwide and allow every country.

Presentation Control

Fully customisable tone of voice

All text strings are controlled from the localisation API and are not stored on the device, this allows operators to control the localisation and presentation of languages within your application. Using an API, means you never need an app release to change or update languages.

Each text string comes with a default value in English (EN). For each language, the default value is simply overridden allowing for full customisation of the tone of voice presented to your customers within our apps.

An example of this would be if you wanted to adjust any of the phrases presented within our apps, such as the instance “Series”, to be changed to “Episodic Content” or any other title you would like. This is the same for changing the language used, such as adding “Categorías” to “Categories” for Spanish speakers.


Customised groups of countries

Our apps and websites are controllable on a regional basis. This means that for each region's setup, the content presentation, purchase options, categories and language can be different.

A region is a customisable grouping of countries within Media Manager. The module allows you to segment your content into core regions rather than individual countries.

Regions are useful to group countries by language. An example of this could be that Region 1 is English speaking, so including GB, AU, US, and CA, whereas Region 2 may be Spanish speaking and could include ES and MX.

The benefit of regions is to give high flexibility when presenting and featuring content based on the country/region. It also simplifies content management for rights and licencing I.E., it’s likely the Spanish content needs to be managed differently from the English content. Presenting your content in every available language worldwide is far more costly than tailoring it to specific countries. You can group your content by region, attaching default languages to specific geographical areas, so that your content is presented to that audience in the correct language depending on their location. This also ensures that you are only showing content that is available in the local language and accessible to that territory.

Beyond just the language in which your content is available, you want to present the most relevant content to a user's location. You could have content which is very popular in the UK, but unheard of in Spain. In this case you would not want the same items featured in each of those regions. You can easily feature carousels of content in  App Platform with regional controls which make featuring differing content across regions simpler than ever before.

Regionalisation is also useful when we are provided with the same asset multiple times, in multiple languages, as opposed to a single asset with multiple audio tracks. In practice, this happens often. In this case, Asset A (in Spanish) is assigned to the Spanish region and Asset B (English) is assigned to the English region. This setup also simplifies reporting, as it is easy to report on the English assets versus the Spanish assets.

How Does Localisation Work?

A seamless workflow

The localisation workflow makes our apps differentiate the frontend presentation depending on the user’s location. This provides audiences with an experience that is tailored to their language and country. Simplestream utilises ISO 3166 Alpha-2 format country codes to define countries and group them by regions. You can find a full list of these codes here. The process which takes place in our apps is detailed below:

📲 User opens the app

➡️ App sends IP address to the Geo location server

➡️ Server responds with an ISO 3166 Alpha-2 country code

➡️ The app then makes a call to our system for the startup including the country code

➡️ Our system then responds with the correct regional information to populate the content and format of the app

The final level of protection for content security lets you place an allow or block list on the Content Delivery Network (CDN) to stop any content surfacing in a region it isn’t cleared for.

Content Languages

Trigger multiple audio or subtitle tracks

Whether you have multiple audio or subtitle tracks to present your content in different languages, you can manage this with Media Manager.

Your assets can be a single video with multiple audio tracks and subtitles or multiple videos in different languages.

Purchase Options

Location-based currency and app store detection

Currency detection for the web is based on location, while mobile is based on the app store to which the device is linked.

At the enterprise-level, this gives you the option to present different purchase and authentication options based on a user’s location. Need subscription models and pricing tailored to Germany, while simultaneously displaying only transactional purchase options in Spain? It’s all just a click away, easy to use, with Media Manager.